Your Red Right Hand

prints cover the sandstone walls –

they are the hands of children

not the hands of vengeance.


When my great uncle

carved his name into those same sandstone walls

the battles were over.

The dust (and the farmers) had settled

and the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung who survived

were interned in Framlingham,


                                                                                    Lake Condah.


With the deviant fingers of my left hand

I trace my ancestor’s name,

feel the shame of my inheritance.


Did you stand

where I stand now

and can we ever stand together

toes digging into the sandy cave floor

listening to the whispering wind

looking over the country below

squinting hard

                             to see

                                        an emu?